Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Brain - 1988

Canada gets kind of a bad rap for the movies it's put out, and that thought made me wonder what the other Canadian movie I reviewed was.  Looking real quick through the blog, maybe there wasn't one?  Huh.  Really thought there was.  Point is, I get into these sort of "modes" if you will where I'll dig into some specific place or time, and I'll watch movies related to it.  Canada is one of these such places.  (Update:  I found the movie I'm talking about, it is Def-Con 5)

I did a little googling and found The Brain.  Now apparently The Brain has two different covers:

Let's compare and contrast these shall we.  Jesus fucking christ.  True story, I deleted The Brain once from my queue on Amazon because of how mind-numbingly boring the cover looked.  Who would rent this movie here on the right?  It looks like some sort a train-related adventure film that was probably shot on video by employees at the dollar store. The movie on the left looks positively badass.  I like the minimalism: that's a fucking rad poster.  See, I can use the word rad cause the movie's                             from 88.

The Brain was filmed in Canada, but stars American actors for the most part, and has a American director.  Can movies like this be claimed as Canadian?  In my opinion the answer is no.  I hate when this gets labeled as the awful portmanteau "Canuxploitation".  Y'all know that these days, practically every movie ever is filmed in Canada right?  Fuck man, the movie Godzilla - you know, the new one where he attacks San Francisco CA?  That was filmed in Canada!  They filmed in SF for like 1 day.  So are we now labeling that as Canadian?  Fuck no we're not.  So why does this get it?  Makes no goddamn sense to me, and someone needs to let me decide these things.

Made for TV, filmed in Canada, low budget, and 80's, all the ingredients add up to a possibly quite horrible film, but somehow The Brain worked.  The effects helped a ton.  We open The Brain with this girl in her room.  Suddenly, her stuffed teddy bear starts crying blood and shit starts to get crazy.  Then there's tentacles reaching through the walls and the room is shifting around and everything is attacking her!  Damn!  Her mom comes in to help and in a fit of terror the girl kills her mom.  Awesome, solid beginning.

Turns out that local preacher-like scientist guy Dr. Blakely has a brain creature that can control people.  He runs a TV show called "Independent Thinkers" and has the brain hooked into it, and the brain controls the people through the TV show.  It makes them kill people, specifically.  I love this movie.  WHY?  I love that, to my knowledge, I don't remember any fucking explanation at all.  Where did this brain come from, the list of questions goes on....  Local troublemaker Jim and his girlfriend Janet are the only ones who know what's going on, and soon the brain and the baddies are after them.  The Brain also cause Jim to hallucinate monsters that attack him, much like the girl from the beginning.

Solid pacing, good effects, plenty of brain monster in the film, and decent acting all around help The Brain be a greatly entertaining flick.  A popcorn throwaway movie, but one I'd see time and time again, and show to people.  4 stars.

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